“You are a great parent. You don’t feel it because you are in the survival stage.”
A doctor once told me during one of my mental breakdowns, “You are a great parent. You don’t feel it because you are in the survival stage.” At the time, that was the realist thing I understood. Sometimes it may seem as if we are not spending enough time with our kids. However, we don’t see our reflections enough.
What my children see: Mommy busy in the kitchen.
What I feel: Guilt. My child asked me to sit down and put together a puzzle.
What I don’t see: Myself stressing to make a meal which accommodates everyone. With hopes of at least getting the kids to eat a couple bites without going, “yuck.”
What my children see: Mommy on her phone.
What I feel: Stress. I need to get this grocery order in on-time or we may not have milk for tonight. I don’t have time to run to the store.
What I don’t see: Myself going through the cabinets and fridge each day, making lists of the things we need. Remembering to always have milk for my babies.
What my children see: Mommy hiding in the closet.
What I feel: Torn. I feel like I am missing fundamental moments throughout the day.
What I don’t see: Myself trying to build a career, something my children can be proud of. While trying to make extra money to take my kids on vacations.
What my children see: Mommy crying.
What I feel: anxious.
What I don’t see: Myself trying so hard to be a great mom. I don’t see everything I do is for my family.
A lot of times the reasons many new mothers fall into the path of postpartum depression is because we lose control. We just gave life to this tiny little human. Whether it’s your first, second, or fifth child, anxiety doesn’t care. As a new mom, we are beyond exhausted, still healing from giving birth, and probably starving. Since every time we try to take a bite of something the baby starts crying! Think about it. In any situation where we start to lose control over things we get anxious. It’s human. We are too hard on ourselves. The important thing is overcoming.
It was very hard for me at first to accept help. I have always been independent and I didn’t “need” anyone helping me. It made me feel like a failure. My biggest fear was my child not wanting me and wanting the other person for comfort. I know, it was silly to think that. Nevertheless, I overcame the feeling after realizing no one can ever replace my love and my babies know that. If you have the help, take it! We do everything all the time. It’s okay to let someone else do it for a couple hours. Whether it’s your partner, grandparents, or a close friend you trust, we need a break sometimes. That is what makes you a better parent. We need those breaks. Fortunately, my husband helps out a lot. He probably gives the children baths more than I do.
Sometimes as moms we forget who we were before kids. The 1-hour self care routine I did every night? Yeah, okay. Who has time for that? My hair ends up in this low, weird, ponytail thing for 3 days. Half of the time I can’t even remember what the original style was. I started dedicating more time for self-care. Maybe not an hour every night but even if I threw a face mask on while I did the dishes it made me feel a little better. “When you look better, you feel better.” Another thing my mom would always tell me. It’s true. If you look like a tired housewife, you’re going to feel like one. I started putting a little concealer on in the mornings and occasionally a little mascara. One of my favorites is just $5 on Amazon. It’s called the “Essence Lash Princess.” If you don’t use it already definitely try it. It gives you the look of false lashes without the heavy feeling. I have linked it here.
Even if I wasn’t going anywhere it still made me feel a little more alive. When I started working from home, it became routine. Especially on days I would have meetings. No one needs to see 3 years of lack of sleep. I come from a middle-eastern background so I naturally have darker circles and deep eye sockets. So, if I was up until 1am with a child who thought it was turn-up time it is not a pretty day for me. Giving yourself just 5 minutes in the morning can really make a difference to your overall attitude.
Self-care is so important and is something new moms often neglect. In order for us to be our best. We need to feel our best as well. Subscribe to my blog for upcoming announcements regarding my free downloadable Self-Care Challenge coming soon!